Letters from abroad: A plea from a fellow child of empire

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Fall 2012 Middle East Studies Program student, Tesica Starkey, recently wrote an article for her campus newspaper at Southern Nazarene University, "The Echo." 

Letters from abroad: A plea from a fellow child of empire
By Tesica Starkey
Posted on September 28, 2012
The Echo, Southern Nazarene University

Sahar, Adyan and MESP students pose for a picture - Photo by Tesica Starkey"Dine with the opposition." It's a phrase that frequents the lips of Dr. David Holt, the director of CCCU's Middle East Studies Program (MESP). Initially, under the influence of jet lag and naiveté, I assumed that any opposition I encountered would fit nicely under labels like Israeli, Jew, Arab, Palestinian, or Muslim. This is their conflict, after all, and I was prepared to occasionally interact with them throughout the semester before boarding a plane in December to retreat to my comfortable solace with my neatly packaged ideas regarding the Middle East conflict.  Little did I know that dining with the opposition would hit much closer to home.

I've only been studying in Jerusalem for almost a month, and, while my knowledge of the conflict has grown immensely, I'm nowhere near a scholar on the subject.  What I have learned, however, is that the situation is impossibly complicated and frustratingly misrepresented by American media.  Even if you're more educated on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than I was going into MESP (which is entirely likely), a realistic grasp of the complexity of the situation is impossible without living here, hearing these stories, meeting these people, and understanding that this is real life. [...]

Continue Reading this Article at SNU's The Echo